Spider-Man: Far From Home
Toy Story 4
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Generally great fun - liked the soundtrack too. However - I saw it first on the small (TV) screen and the illusion of GIANTS fighting GIANTS popped for me as I found myself watching a succession of armoured Hellboys wrestling the usual weird looking del Toro hellspawn. Makes me wish I'd made the effort to see it at the cinema but it's a valid criticism as at home is how most people will end up watching it as the years roll by. Did love that sountrack.
There's something quite Shakespearean about this enjoyable tale of dodgy international double dealing, sinister plotters, power and biological succession. Played for laughs and generally played very well by an excellent cast of mainly Brits. Oh, and in case we need more evidence that it's a Brit flick, they've even spelt the title right.
This is quite a strange little animated film to come from Marvel USA. It's a dark and serious story populated by serious, realistic grown-ups and big-eyed, often playful cartoon kids who are the main focus of the story. In this I see the influence of Japanese animation with elements of Manga and even the brilliant and fantastical Miyazaki in the mix. Generally I quite enjoyed it but I doubt that I'll be watching it again in a hurry.
This little piece of Hulk in space escapism is basically a shark-jumping episode that has very little to do with the big green Marvel character that I have fond memories of. A simple and predicatable plot with lots of repetitive fights succeeds only in inspiring yawns of boredom while a better than average cinematic soundtrack gives it more of a big movie feel than the rest of its components deserve.
Compared to some other other superhero animations such as decent Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes from Marvel and the excellent Justice League Unlimited from DC this offering is childish, poorly scripted and poorly animated. Definately one purely for the kids.
(slight spoiler warning)
Cap US was never one of my favourite Marvel characters but, following Marvel's other recent film successes, I had high hopes for this one - especially as it is the final precursor to next year's Avengers movie. With some regret I must say that it is a disappointment. The beginning, the origin story, is great - the cast, visuals and script are well up to scratch with much enjoyable humour slotting in very nicely but the action (and this IS and "action" movie) really lets it down for me. I know the Red Skull and his Hydra hordes are meant to be hi tech but in the context of the recently established Marvel film Universe and the setting WW2 it is all quite ridiculous - Cap must have been quite disappointed to wake up in the 21st century only to discover that the world had regressed. Captain America's fighting skills are poorly portrayed too - where is the super-agile, super-quick super-soldier ? All we're given is a very keen and capable chap who'd surely have been dead a hundred times over without his shield (take a look at Tim Roth as a super-soldier in the Incredible Hulk to see how it should be done). Another failure is the Howling Commandos - it was right to include them and they look right and make all the right moves but they are so un-fleshed-out and two dimensional that they might have literally just fallen out of a comic book. The end of the film is a shamelessly tagged on piece which fairly clumsily tries to link this Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow wannabe to the approaching Avengers film as Iron-Man, Thor and even The Hulk have already done much more convincingly.
On the plus side this full length feature adds some welcome backgound, most notably relating to Pegasus and her crew. On the down side the main plot which develops following Pegasus's meeting with Galactica is not really attached to the rest of the story arc in any meaningful way and has the feel of a fairly cynical money making exercise filling up a couple of hours of video time. For me the additional background offered makes it worthwhile but the tagged on storyline is unnecessary and quite forgettable in the great scheme of the Battlestar Galactica universe.
Can't believe the tomatometer is showing 67% for this one - it's a real turkey. Formulaic high school horror with all the usual suspects turning up - good girl, bad girl, quiet girl, strange girl, weird staff etc,etc with nothing original and an unconvincing back story something about witches in a wood. There's much effort to create an eerie atmosphere that never quite arrives and scares are either telegraphed or of the messy variety. If this film had turned up 60 years ago it may have been more interesting but now it's all been seen before.
Furry Tail ...
Let's look at the positives first - well, they dropped the word "Little" from the title and Amanda Seyfried is clearly no little girl - also production values, set designs, casting and performances are all OK. To the negative, however, this film has no real identity - it has elements of mystery, fairy tale, thriller, macabre horror, morality tale and romance but all floating around; never coming together in any meaningful or convincing way - and worse still it then performs a werewolf-like shapeshift into a second rate Twilight wannabe (and I never even liked the original Twilight). Quite disappointing.
Starts brilliantly with a very novel angle on the ubiquitous assassin film genre then developing into a process of Hanna awakening to a whole new world of experiences and emotions that had been hidden to her. Unfortunately, it all falls appart later on as the film fails to deliver any fresh interest and struggles all too obviously to integrate a very contrived Grimms Fairytale theme that never even comes close to working. Still - fairly enjoyable and more good than bad - just a shame the quality of the first half did not sustain till the end.
A gentle, human scifi tale much in the style of Silent Running and Solaris. It holds the viewer's attention very well and makes you really care about the character(s) and their predicament. Beautifully shot with an excellent soundtrack by Clint Mansell, it is both thought provoking and entertaining.
A true story about a group of British agents and Greek resistance fighters performing an audacious operation right under the noses of the cream of the German armed forces. Beautifully played and paced in an endearingly modest and understated British manner this film is something of a classic.... And if anyone doesn't know - the title is a quote is from A Midsummer Night's Dream by another famous Brit.
Detailing the beginning af the Falklands conflict from the viewpoints of the Marine garisson and the islanders this is a very typically old British production, whimsical, factual, modest, determined and fatalistic much mirroring the very old British character of the islands and islanders. The tragedy of the conflict is a clear theme but the most entertaining feature is the relationship between the highly professional Royal Marine garrison and the, apparently, slightly eccentric locals with much humour in the face of imminent disaster occurring - as a side note, I believe that some locals complained that they were made to look a bit TOO eccentric almost to the point of comic relief. In my opinion this production strikes a pleasing balance between unbiased reporting of the facts and entertainment - a quality which is rare in film and TV these days. The cast and performances are excellent and it is very well shot - much of it in the challenging location of the Falkland Islands. Generally great entertainment and required viewing for anyone interested in the conflict.
Heavyweight performances and an intelligent plot working on more than one level carry this story about a very topical and delicate subject. It's deep, dark and heavy, certainly; but also very gripping and entertaining too. Top stuff.
Gritty, chilling and spellbindingly "real", this is an Australian gangster film of true quality with excellent, riviting story, characters and cast throughout. Not always a comfortable watch but highly recommended though maybe not for the very squeamish.